- We Fail Too Much
- Definitions of Success
- The Standish Group
- Doing the Wrong Things
- Doing the Things Wrong
- Time Goes By, Things Improve
- One Reason: The Civil Engineering Analogy
- Giving Up Hope
- Ignoring Your Mother
- Bridges Are Hard, Software Is Soft
- We Swim in an Ocean of Change
- Accept Change
- Embrace Change
- Capitalize on Change
- A Better Analogy: Evolving Systems
Time Goes By, Things Improve
The initial findings quoted in the preceding section are from the first Chaos Report, which was issued in 1994. Since then, Standish has updated these findings each year, basically taking on a year's worth of data and allowing the oldest data to fall out.
We are doing better; that's the good news. The failure rate, for instance, had dropped from 20% to 16% by 2004, and the rate of success had almost doubled, up to 34%. Taken together, failed and challenged projects still dominate, but the trend is definitely taking us in the right direction.
Jim Johnson, the chairman of the Standish Group, has said that a lot of this improvement has come from the trend toward developing software in smaller pieces and from a renovation in the ways projects are managed.3 That makes sense to me. However, even in 2004, according to Standish, we still wasted over $50 billion in the United States alone. We're on the right track, but we have a lot farther to go.